New York City's former top cop said Sunday that the Obama administration cut funding to fight terrorism in the city to retaliate against Sen. Chuck Schumer for opposing a nuclear deal with Iran.
"There's a certain amount vindictiveness on the part of Washington aimed at Sen. Chuck Schumer," Ray Kelly, New York City's police commissioner under former Mayor Michael Bloomberg, said in an interview with John Catsimatidis on AM 970 in New York.
"Apparently they remember very well that Sen. Schumer did not support their Iran deal," Kelly said, arguing the proposed cut "was aimed at getting a reaction from Sen. Schumer."
Schumer was the most senior Democrat in Congress last year to oppose an international agreement under which Iran agreed to give up its nuclear weapons program in exchange for relief from econonmic sanctions.
Schumer, a Democrat set to become the party's Senate leader, joined New York Mayor Bill de Blasio and the city's police and fire commissioners to blast a White House budget plan that would cut annual funding for the city's Urban Area Security Initiative from $600 million to to $330 million.
As the country's largest city and the only U.S. location repeatedly attacked by terrorists, including the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, New York officials have long sought extra consideration in allocation of federal anti-terror funds.
"New York is an enduring target," Kelly said. "It always will be."
Schumer statements drew a pointed White House response, an unusual reaction aimed at a key Democratic ally.
"At some point, Sen. Schumer's credibility in talking about national security issues, particularly when the facts are as they are when it relates to homeland security, have to be affected by the position that he's taken on other issues," White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said Wednesday.
"Sen. Schumer is somebody that came out and opposed the international agreement to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. He was wrong about that position," Earnest said. "And when people look at the facts here when it comes to funding for homeland security, they'll recognize that he's wrong this time too."
Earnest said financing for the program was cut because New York failed to spend the money it had already received.
Kelly, though a de Blasio critic, is a Schumer ally. The senator has unsuccessfully proposed Obama nominate Kelly a head of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Homeland Security.